Fire Day Friday Fail

I thought about this recipe all day long and knew what I wanted to do.  It ended up being good in concept but definitely I have to chalk this up as a fail for one reason.  The one component that I wanted to showcase – the tamale cake – was lackluster.  It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great either.   But the idea and flavors worked perfectly so I’ll try again and just tweek the cake recipe.

The idea was simple. A spicy cheese sauce, a sweet corn tamale cake, pulled pork, and a sweet bbq sauce.

I used the corn tamale cake from this recipe, which made 4 cakes.  I tried cooking on on the griddle, but it didn’t hold its shape.  It spread out like a pancake.   This pic is obviously “pre-pancake mode”. 

I tried cooking the other three in the oven but they did the same thing.

Finally I made another batch and this time upped the masa harina flour amount as follows.

1 15 oz can corn kernals, drained well and then pulsed in a food processor
3 Tbsp sugar
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup masa harina flour
2 Tbsp all purpose flour

I baked them at 400f in muffin tins.

The cheese sauce was
6 oz Mexican dipping cheese w/ jalapeno
4 oz milk
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1 tsp red pepper flakes

 Then I ladled about 1/4 cup of cheese sauce on a small plate and placed a cake in the middle.  Top that with about 1/4 cup of leftover pulled pork and then a sweet bbq sauce.

I think the consistency and flavor of the cake is good now that I added flour but cooking them in the muffin tin made the texture too much like plain cornbread.  Next time I’ll try the oven with free standing cakes again.

The spicy cheese sauce contrasting with the other sweet flavors was tasty.   This was a great use for leftover pulled pork!


I am SO swiping this one!!! Love the cheese sauce/tamale combo, although I might try it with leftover carnitas (if I ever get any leftover carnitas, that is). Thanks for sharing!


The picture sure does look good, and actually the cornbread texture doesn’t sound too bad! Of course if it’s not what you were going for, then you won’t be happy with it. You might just have to wrap it in corn husks and steam it! 😀


I guess they can’t all be hits, huh, Chris? Well, it still looks really really good. I LOVE the cheese sauce….mmmmmmm, I could put that on just about anything!!!

Martha (MM)

Everything looks and sounds wonderful Chris but I do know what you mean about the wrong texture – it’s like comparing tamales with cornbread when you were hoping for something in between. It can make all the difference in this kind of recipe. It looks delicious and I’m sure it was wonderful even if not exactly as planned.